Summer is flying by and we are already three weeks into this year's Summer International Health Fellowship (SIHF)! From rotating through FIMRC clinics, government hospitals, and rural health posts to hosting mobile clinics and health screenings, our Fellows have taken advantage of every opportunity to receive valuable clinical exposure and to learn about the local health systems.
Below we've included a few snippets about the clinical experience our Fellows have received, the skills they've learned, and how they've put those skills to great use!
Fellows in India have spent the past three weeks rotating through our rural clinic as well as FIMRC's larger clinical partners, KHMS Hospital and PASAM Trust, both of which include departments such as dentistry and optometry. The rotations have offered a look at not only a FIMRC run facility, but also larger charitable hospitals in Kodaikanal and allowed the Fellows to be involved in a wide range of cases. FIMRC's OB/GYN has also hosted info sessions for Fellows interested in learning more about the top diagnoses at the clinic as well as how she provides culturally sensitive care.
FIMRC's clinic in Uganda sees the largest caseload with an average of 200 patients daily. Working alongside our medical staff, Fellows have had the opportunity to rotate through various clinic stations including patient intake, consultation, pharmacy and the laboratory. FIMRC's lab technician, Emma, has also taken the time to train Fellows to correctly perform gram stains and identify parasites. Fellows have had in-depth exposure to cases not usually seen in the US, such as malaria, HIV, and parasitic infections.
In partnership with the Canossa Health Center, Fellows spent two weeks assisting with patient intake and pharmacy operations at a rural clinic in Manila. Fellows also learned to take blood pressure and other vitals, which will be put to great use while working in the rural health units and in the community with the Barangay Health Workers.
In the Rural Health Units, Fellows have been able to work alongside midwives, clinical staff and University of Philippines Medical Interns to see patients. They have learned about common diagnoses in the area, as well as the conditions that contribute to the cases. When patients aren't present, medical staff have been teaching important skills as well as information on the local population to provide context for their community work.
Fellows have had the chance to observe the pediatrician in FIMRC's clinic. In these visitations, they have been able to see the full consult with up to 15 patients a day, and have been able to hear the diagnoses, thought processes, prescriptions, and the full consult from newborns to pre-teens. Through this they have been able to see a diversity of ailments that they would not be as likely to see in the US including pediatric UTIs, parasitosis, and a diversity of skin infections.
Additionally, Fellows have been trained on how to take adult and pediatric vitals including blood pressure, taking blood glucose levels with a glucometer, and using a digital infrared thermometer. They have also learned how to accurately take the vital signs for pediatric cases including using a pediatric scale, accurately taking height, and mid-upper arm and head circumferences.
Peru - Huancayo
Fellows in Huancayo have enjoyed a diversity of clinical exposure in a large government hospital, medical university anatomy lab, and rural health post. Fellows have observed advanced surgical cases at Hospital Carrion, provided assistance in the pediatric unit of Sapallanga Health Post, and learned how to suture and to properly identify veins, nerves, and arteries on a human cadaver.
Peru - La Merced
Rotating through the Tropical Medicine Hospital in La Merced, Fellows have had the chance to observe cases unique to the Amazonian region of Peru. Fellows have rotated through departments such as internal medicine, dentistry, the emergency room, as well as the surgical wing. Fellows have also provided support to CRED, a smaller pediatric development unit in the town of San Ramón.
Working alongside FIMRC's field staff, Fellows planned and implemented a mobile medical clinic that was hosted in a local school. Community members were able to receive medical care that is oftentimes unavailable or requires traveling great distances. Prior to the clinic as well as conducting our weekly diabetic check-ins, Fellows received trainings on how to properly take patient vitals and measure blood glucose. Fellows have also had the opportunity to see the Dominican healthcare system firsthand by rotating through the local Municipal Hospital.